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Doctor of Ministry

Holy Spirit Leadership & Ministry Practice Cohort

Application Deadline: June 1, 2020


Fuller’s Doctor of Ministry cohort in Holy Spirit Leadership & Ministry Practice offers a unique learning context for students to engage in an ongoing, in-depth, sustained study of the life of the Holy Spirit within the Bible, theology, and Christian history that will transform the students approach to leadership, church, ministry, and life. Each year’s cohort will be led by the lead mentor—alongside a distinguished guest lecturer—for a face-to-face experience during a 10-day (Mon-following Wed) retreat in Pasadena, California on the Fuller campus. The time between face-to-face experiences will include ongoing mentorship, a robust and expansive reading curriculum, and monthly virtual lectures that create space for enhanced learning while students are in their local contexts. The mentorship component will strategically pair students with a mentor in their field, helping deepen the student’s awareness of the Holy Spirit in life, vocation, and ministry.

On-Campus Intensive Seminars:
Year One: Jan 19-28, 2021
Year Two: Jan 18-27, 2022
Year Three: Jan 17-26, 2023
Year Four: 4-unit Elective
Year Four-Five: Doctoral Project Phase

Cohort Overview

The format for the cohort leans upon a rotating team of faculty who will instruct at each on-campus intensive course gathering. Each year, four days of lecture and dialogue will be framed and led by Dr. A.J. Swoboda. The other four days will be led by a guest faculty member.

Year One

God’s Spirit in Scripture, History, & Theology|
Jan 19-28, 2021
(12 units)

The concentration of gathering of the first year is to frame the entire three-year experience, developing a broad and robust understanding of the life of the Holy Spirit in both biblical and historical theological contexts. What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit? What does historical theology say about the life of the Holy Spirit? This is a foundation that will be built upon for the entire three-year period.

Special attention will be given to the pneumatology of the early church. Components of the course will focus on:

1) A biblical view of the Holy Spirit; 2) historical controversies regarding the Spirit (i.e. Montanism); 3) the ongoing relationship between Spirit and Scripture; and 4) how the historic Christian church has understood and conceptualized the life of the Spirit in the believer, the church, and the world; 5) establishing a historically “orthodox” theology of the Spirit; 6) the exploration of the Spirit’s “gift” in each student; and, 7) the beginning of virtual mentorship with their paired mentor. The cohort will meet on the Fuller Pasadena campus.


Year Two

God’s Spirit in Experience & Practice (Jan 18-27, 2022)
Co-taught with Mark Cartledge
Jan 18-27, 2022
(12 units)

The heavy emphasis in year two will be framed by the biblical command to “be being filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18) What does “be being” filled mean in the present sense? How can we do that? To that end, the cohort will explore the practical and experiential dynamics to the life of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit is lived out in real life. The emphasis of this year will center on: 1) Christian formation as it relates to a robust theology of the Spirit; 2) the contribution of the Charismatic and Pentecostal traditions to the global church; 3) the gifts of the Holy Spirit in both individual and corporate contexts; 4) the dangers and abuses of the life of the Spirit in contemporary and historical practice; 5) a reading of leadership as a practice of Holy Spirit giftedness; 6) leading with discernment; and, 7) the continuation of mentorship with the paired mentor. The cohort will meet on the Fuller Pasadena campus.

Year Three

God's Spirit in Leadership & Mission
Jan 17-26, 2023
(12 units)

The third year will expand the students engagement of the Holy Spirit in both leadership and missional respects. The main themes that will be developed in this years conversation will be: 1) the relationship between the Holy Spirit and global crises; 2) particular attention will be given to a pneumatological understanding to the environmental crisis; 3) the Holy Spirit and evangelism; 4) Spirit and mission; 5) Spirit, principalities, and powers; 6) an orthodox theology of Holy Spirit as they relate to gender and sexuality; and, 7) the continuation of mentorship with the paired mentor. The cohort will meet on the Fuller Pasadena campus.

Year Four-Five

Doctoral Project Phase

  • 4-unit Elective (independent study or an elective from the Course Schedule)
  • DM710: online doctoral project proposal course (2 units)
  • DM706: doctoral project writing phase (6 units)
  • 60- and 64-units students have will need to complete an additional 12 or 16 units of coursework. Please see the DMin main page for more information.


Dr. A. J. Swoboda, Ph.D

Dr. Swoboda is a professor, author, and pastor of Theophilus in urban Portland, Oregon. He teaches theology, biblical studies, and Christian history at George Fox Evangelical and Fuller Theological Seminaries, including a number of other universities and Bible colleges.

Previous to this, A.J. served as a campus pastor at the University of Oregon. His doctoral research at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) explored the never-ending relationship between the Holy Spirit and ecology. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. A.J. is the author of Messy: God Likes It That Way (Kregel), Tongues and Trees: Toward a Pentecostal Ecological Theology (JPTSup, Deo), and Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology (Baker Academic). You can find his website and blog at, or follow him on Twitter @mrajswoboda.

Guest Professors

Dr. Mark J. Cartledge, Ph.D

Professor of Practical Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach. He is a priest in the Church of England and has served in parish and university campus ministries. He has also taught in seminaries and secular universities. At Regent School of Divinity, he teaches courses in theology, as well as research methods for Doctor of Ministry students. Since coming to Regent University, he has developed a new course in Cyber Theology, which has proved very popular with students and there are plans to develop an MA program in the near future. His main research over the years has focused on Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity, often using empirical research methods to explore contemporary beliefs and practices. He is currently finishing a book on the subject of megachurches and their social engagement in London, as well as writing a set of studies exploring pneumatology, ecclesiology, and Public Theology.

Contact the DMin office for more information on applying to this cohort!